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Ali Shops Blog

Uber Baby responds

December 23rd, 2008
by Allison Kaplan

I know the owners of Uber Baby were hurt by my Dec. 19 blog entry and I feel bad about that – I have nothing but respect for Dan and Lynne Gonsior. They are the kind of local retailers the Twin Cities need: always willing to take a risk, always ready with a fresh idea. Which makes it that much tougher to be critical, but it's my job to be honest and unbiased. I try to approach every shopping experience as the shopperthat I am and as a shopper, I've found myself disappointed by Uber Baby lately. The Gonsiors say business at the Galleria has dictated many of the changes customers have noticed. They offer some interesting behind-the-scenes insights. The store owner's job is not an easy one – especially these days. As I said in my original entry, I wish them the best and look forward to more great things from Uber Baby next year.

Allison:

Here are a few of our comments regarding your blog dated December 19, 2008.

The poor customer service you received at our store has already been addressed and we do apologize, poor service is not acceptable..
The mom and stroller traffic that you mentioned is mainly in the morning and very few if any are there to shop.
When speaking about the merchants at the mall to support our concept, we were mostly speaking about stores that support a demo of 25y.o-45y.o.
Mall traffic in the evenings is non existent. Management will tell you traffic is up over last year and we believe that is due to Crate & Barrel.  What we see are people using the separate entrance to Crate's store and leaving right after visiting that store.
When we first moved in the Galleria wanted maternity only. We discovered not enough customers are willing to support a high-end maternity boutique. We do very well  with maternity at our outlet store.  We have decided being able to give our customers a great deal on maternity the focus will be at the outlet in that category.
We opened Über Baby Galleria in what was part of Expecting Uber Baby. Not the Über Baby look or feel. We decided this fall, that the Galleria was not the right fit for Über Baby, daily and evening traffic was almost non existent and our main demographics were not shopping this mall.
We decided to limit our fall inventory given the poor sales and traffic at the Galleria. 
We acknowledge that the store does not have the exact same feel as our original store.  We are very excited to move on and go back to what made Uber Baby so successful.
So for now we are going to open a smaller Über Baby express store within our outlet. We will be opening a new 2000-3000 s.f. flagship store in the fall of 2009. 
These comments come from 15 months of daily observations and feedback from other merchants and customers. 
– Dan & Lynne Gonsior, Founders of Über Baby.

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